updated 08:29 pm EDT, Fri May 4, 2012
Researchers turn Kinect, plastic tube into 3D telepresence tool
Researchers at the Human Media Lab at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario have developed a hologram-like teleconferencing model that uses Microsoft's Kinect system to enable live, 3D teleconferencing. In a manner reminiscent of Star Wars' hologram messages, users are able to get a three-dimensional view of their conferencing partner.
The researchers have dubbed their project TeleHuman, and it is powered by six Kinect sensors combined with a 3D projector placed at the bottom of a cylindrical pod. A person's image is scanned by the Kinect cameras and transmitted to the projector, which projects a view of the person onto the surface of the cylinder. Viewers can walk around the resulting image, getting a three-dimensional view of the subject.
The researchers have also created another application called BodiPod, a 3D anatomy model of the body. Users can interact with the model through gestures, peeling away layers of tissue, and by voice command, zooming in on specific aspects of the body.
This isn't the first time that the Kinect has been used to bring the world a step closer to holographic communication. Last year, a team at MIT's Media Lab showed off a Kinect-based holographic Internet video system capable of 15 frames per second transmission. Microsoft itself is enamored with the potential in holograms of late, having recently shown off its own concept devices, which uses eye-tracking technology to allow users to physically manipulate 3D objects with their hands.